Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall Prevention for Older Adults

Falls can be devastating for older adults, often costing them their independence. National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall, and every 13 seconds an older adult is treated in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Up to 30% of people who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries, making it harder for them to live independently.

NCOA’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center published its 2015 Falls Free National Action Plan, a resource to help reduce the growing number of falls and fall-related injuries among older adults.

The plan recommends that older adults:
  • participate in a physical activity program with balance, strength training, and flexibility components;
  • consult a health professional about getting a falls risk assessment;
  • have their medications reviewed by a doctor or pharmacist periodically;
  • get their eyes and ears checked annually;
  • make sure their home environment is safe and supportive;
  • talk to their family members about falls prevention. 
“Falls do not have to be a normal part of aging,” says NCOA’s Kathleen Cameron. “Small changes can have a big impact. Get educated early and take advantage of the support available in your community.”

Find the action plan and more information at NCOA’s website.